Hindus didn't call themselves Hindu. It was the name given by Islamic invaders. To them, everyone living beyond the river Sindhu were Hindus including Buddhists, Jains & animistic tribals. Sindhu becomes Hindu in Persian and Indus in English. And the land of these people beyond Sindhu was called Hindustan.
To the native, i.e ancestors of today's Hindus, ...
Western lexicons refer to all faiths of the world by the term "religion". Therefore, from a Western perspective, Hinduism is also known as one of the world's "religions". The reference to Hinduism as a religion is purely from a Western context. Thus, nothing is taken away when perceiving from that viewpoint.
However, to equate religion as an equivalent ...
The caste system, as existing in modern India, is a degraded form of varnasrama. The Wikipedia article is full of western speculation, but the proper definition is given in Bhagavad-gita:
Four [profesional] colorings were created by me, differentiated by qualities and activities. ...
The qualities (guna) mentioned in this verse are not just ...
Bhagvan is a term made of two different words, bhaga and van. Bhaga generally means supreme opulence. The Vishnu Purana defines bhaga as below:
aiśvaryasya samagrasya dharmasya yaśasariśrayaḥ
jñānavairāgyayoścaiva ṣaṇṇāṃ bhaga itīraṇā [VP - 6.5.74]
Complete splendor, virtue, glory, opulence, knowledge, dispassion - these six are known as ...
The word “Hindu” was originally coined by the ancient Persians to describe the people living east of the “Sindhu”, or Indus River. The term spread westward, and eventually it became popularized throughout the world. It was only with the invasion of India, first by the Muslims and then by the British that the term “Hindu” came into use in India. Prior to that,...
Q. What's the source and meaning of this verse?
Srimad Bhagavad Gita is the source of this verse:
अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते।
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम्।।9.22।।
And here are some useful translations:
English Translation By Swami Adidevananda
9.22 There are those who, excluding all else, think of Me and worship Me, ...
Caste is an inappropriate translation of the Varna system.
The word 'caste' was an English adaptation from the Portuguese term
'casta, which was first used by the Portuguese' in describing what
they perceived to be India's social structure. There is no term
'caste' in Sanskrit or any Indian language. The only reference to such
social structure in ...
After the name of an ancient king Bharata, India is also known as Bharata-varṣa since the prehistoric times. Before it, this land was called as Ajanābha-varṣa. This is stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam:
ajanābhaṁ nāmaitad varṣaṁ bhāratam iti yata ārabhya vyapadiśanti. [SB - 5.7.3]
The name of this land was Ajanabha. It came to be known as Bharata after ...
The Vishnu Purana defines Bhagavān as follows,
उत्पत्तिं प्रलयं चैव भूतानामागतिं गतिम् |
वेत्तिं विद्यामविद्यां च स वाच्यो भगवानिति ||
He who understands the creation and dissolution, the appearance and disappearance of beings, the wisdom and ignorance, should be called Bhagavān. — Vishnu Purana, VI.5.78
The same text defines Bhaga and provides ...
This answer is based on teachings of Swami Sivananda. Swami Sivananda wrote many books explaining Brahmacharya, such as Practice of Brahmacharya. I will quotes some of his words here.
Swami Sivanada says Brahmacharya literally means Achara or conduct that leads to the realization of Brahman or one’s own Self and conduct is control of semen, the study of the ...
The name was Ajanābha-varṣa. This was the name given to the planet earth. But after the activities of the king Bharata, the country is named as Bhārata-varṣa.
This is said in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Skanda 5 chapter 7
ajanābhaṁ nāmaitad varṣaṁ bhāratam iti yata ārabhya vyapadiśanti.
Formerly this planet was known as Ajanābha-varṣa, but since Mahārāja Bharata’...
What does the expression “kalpa bheda” mean?
Kalpa Bheda means differences due to Kalpa or cycle.
Does that mean all puranic stories happen repeatedly from one kalpa to the next and that there may be variations in the narrative among different kalpas?
Not sure about all but most of the stories are repetitive and happen repeatedly from one kalpa to the ...
Adhyatma means relating to Atman or belonging to self. In other words, transcendental.
The Sanskrit word अध्यात्म is combination of two words : अधि + आत्म = अध्यात्म.
Adhi(अधि) means over/upon/concerning and Aatm(आत्म) means the self/soul;Adhyatma can be defined as : आत्मनि अधि इति अध्यात्म ।
....the Sanskrit scriptures have a very ...
what makes one a Hindu?
To be a Hindu, One must learn and understand its very concept. There is no conversion ceremony in Hinduism like in Christianity. However Hinduism follows pluralism. Hence Hinduism has many rituals and practices to follow. One is open to choose any among them.
We need to see what term is used for those scriptures in our scriptures. We should stick to it.
The word used is "Itihasa" only. Here are various references from various scriptures:
One should make them [i.e., the invited Brahmanas] listen to the Vedic
recitations, Dharma-Sastras, Itihasas (History) Puranas, and the
most beautiful portion [of the ...
Lord Krishna was referred as "आजीवम् ब्रह्मचारिन्" (lifelong
BrahmachAri). How can it be true, when he had 8 main wives & lot of
For the time being i am addressing only the above question. One can be married and enjoying conjugal bliss and still at the same time be a BrahmchAri. For that one just needs to follow certain instructions from ...
In his lecture The Common Bases of Hinduism, Swami Vivekananda says the following on being Hindu:
There are certain great principles in which, I think, we — whether Vaishnavas, Shaivas, Shāktas, Gāṇapatyas, whether belonging to the ancient Vedantists or the modern ones, whether belonging to the old rigid sects or the modern reformed ones — are all one, ...
From the quoted passage, it seems that St Jerome is referring to Śramaṇas. These are also called Samanas in Pali. The meaning of this term is "One who labours for a higher purpose or religious purpose". These people considering themselves different from the path of Vedas and Brahmins was the reason for the separation. They opposed rituals recommended in the ...
Turiya refers simply to the Fourth. There are four quarters to Brahman; the waking, dream, dreamless, and the Turiya. The Fourth state is not separate from the other three but rather transcends and encompasses the other three states as well as a Fourth. Turiya is Pure Consciousness and is the same as the Atman or the Unconditioned Brahman. The Mandukya ...
Virañci means "he who creates."
Following are the various names of Brahmā from the Puranic Encyclopedia.
In Amarakośa, the following names are given to Brahmā.
Parameṣṭhi pitāmahaḥ |
Virañciḥ kamalāsanaḥ |
Sraṣṭā prajāpatir vedhā
The word Brahmacharya has technically nothing to do celibacy or abstinence as popularly known.
After the advent of samnyasa and related sects, there was heavy importance given to renunciation and abstinence etc.
THE CONCEPT OF BRAHMACARYA – ITS TRUE MEANING, NATURE & IMPLICATION
Brahmacarya as the name signifies, relates to brahman. The word ‘...
I have found one instance in Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda: Sarga 14, where the term Hetuvada is used. This word is used during the Horse-sacrifice of Dasharatha where Sages and Brahmins were doing intellectual debates. One translator translates it as intellectual debate
कर्मान्तरे तदा विप्रा हेतुवादान्बहूनपि |
प्राहुः सुवाग्मिनो धीराः परस्परजिगीषया || १-...
Sanatana (सनातन) is a Sanskrit word referring to eternal, having no beginning or end. The phrase dharma sanātana does occur in Hinduism scriptures. Traced back as far as valmiki Ramayana . The word is also present in Bhagvat Purana and in Manu smriti.
कृते च प्रतिकर्तव्यमेष धर्मः सनातनः। सोऽयं त्वत्प्रतिकारार्थी
From Wikipedia of Shaivism,
Shaivism ([Śaivam]) (Devanagari: शैव संप्रदाय) (Tamil: சைவம்) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being or its metaphysical concept of Brahman. The followers of Shaivism are called "Shaivites" or "Saivites"
Devotees of Shiva are Shaiva
Devotees of Vishnu are Vaishnava
Hence Shaiva ...
According to Tantric scriptures, Deshika is used to denote the Guru, who is capable of doing Anugraha towards the disciple.
A formal definition is as follows:
KarunAmaya-murtitvA-deshikah kathitah priye ||
Because he wears the form of the deity, devata, because he
bestows grace on the disciple, ...
Desika means an acharya or an expert teacher. It literally means who shows correct direction (who shows Disha (direction) to someone) or a guide. A guide guides is in the right path to reach our destination. Similarly in spiritual context, a deshika (guru) he shows direction to his disciples through his teachings and much more. A guru gives us mantra diksha ...
According to Meru Tantram, a Shakta Agama :
One (& the best ) way (sadhan or means) of attaining the "Chaturvidha Purusharthas"
(Dharma ,Artha etc) is Mantra. And, the first act (Purah=First, Act=Charja)
that is done, after attaining Guru Upadesha, to attain "Mantra Siddhi" (mastery over a mantra) is called
Purascharja or Purascharanakarma.
Medhātithi commenting on the opening verse of Manusmṛti defines Ṛṣi (ऋषि) as both denoting the Vedas and also those who excel at Vedas both in words and actions.
मनुमेकाग्रमासीनमभिगम्य महर्षयः ।
प्रतिपूज्य यथान्यायमिदं वचनमब्रुवन् ॥ १ ॥
manumekāgramāsīnamabhigamya maharṣayaḥ |
pratipūjya yathānyāyamidaṃ vacanamabruvan || 1 ||